Proto-Polynesian (abbreviated PPn) is the hypothetical proto-language from which all the modern Polynesian languages descend. It is a daughter language of the Proto-Austronesian language. Historical linguists have reconstructed the language using the comparative method, in much the same manner as with Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Uralic. This same method has also been used to support the archaeological and ethnographic evidence which indicates that the ancestral homeland of the people who spoke Proto-Polynesian was in the vicinity of Tonga, Samoa, and nearby islands.
The phonology of Proto-Polynesian is very simple, with 13 consonants and 5 vowels. Note that *q in Proto-Polynesian most probably was a glottal stop [ʔ].
Proto-Polynesian had five simple vowels, /a/ /e/ /i/ /o/ /u/, with no length distinction. In a number of daughter languages, successive sequences of vowels came together to produce long vowels and diphthongs, and in some languages these sounds later became phonemic.
The following is a table of some sample vocabulary as it is represented orthographically in various languages. All instances of <ʻ> represent a glottal stop, IPA /ʔ/. All instances of 'ng' and Samoan 'g' represent the single phoneme /ŋ/. The letters 'r' in all cases represents voiced alveolar tap /ɾ/, not /r/.
|Proto-Polynesian||Tongan||Niuean||Sāmoan||Rapa Nui||Tahitian||Māori||Rarotongan||S. Marquesan||Hawaiian||English|
|Look up Category:Proto-Polynesian language in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
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